We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Jean and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hannah Jean, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
My advice is you know yourself best. Think about why you started and if you feel like you’re still accomplishing that then keep going. If you feel like you’ve ventured away from your original plan, but you’re happy with that keep going. At the end of the day you have to do what’s best for you and sometimes that means giving up on something or giving up for the time being. Life is constantly changing so you always need to check in with yourself. Personally I started my food blog as a fun way to share my love for food. I know to keep going because I am still having fun with it and based off the engagement I get off content. Whenever I feel like its becoming more of a chore I know its time to take a small break because it is more of a passion project, I have that option to take a step back when I need to. I would know to give up if it felt like it wasn’t as fun anymore and if it wasn’t making me happy.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I work in higher ed full time and do my food blog as a passion project. I was an Army brat growing up and moved all over the US. I went to college in Fort Collins, CO where my love for local places was able to blossom with so many delicious places to eat, breweries to explore, and a Trader Joes to shop at. I later moved to Illinois for grad school and was able to explore the midwest food scene as well as the south after taking an internship in Alabama. I didn’t even know how to cook really till I went to grad school and since I lived in a small town I had to cook more since there were less places for me to eat out at. This is when I started taking more pictures of my food. The pictures of my food only increased when I moved to Tucson and could explore new places to eat as well as new recipes to cook and multiple Trader Joes to go to. I also started reviewing local places on Yelp when I moved to Tucson and became a Yelp elite which has really helped me find most of the local places I visit. I was scared to start my blog because I thought who would care about these food photos I take on my iphone. But the more engagement I got on my personal instagram I realized I that people do care and most importantly I cared about the food I was cooking and the local places I was trying. I’ve had so much fun sharing my love for food and I’ve learned so much along the way. If you’re reading this and thinking about something you really wanna try or pursue, I say do it, if it makes you happy thats what matters.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were to visit in any time of the year but summer, we would have an action planned weekend. I would try to find at least one restaurant for us to try together, like the Meyer Avenue Cafe which I recently tried when a friend visited. We’d also have to go to Scented Leaf one day to have a refreshing tea and Coffee Times another morning so they could try a great local coffee shop. Some other breakfast places I’d take them are Nook or Prep and Pastry. For lunch I would suggest El Güero Canelo, Graze Burgers, or Serial Grillers. If we did a takeout night I would suggest Brothers Noodles, Noodleholics, or Pizza Luna. For a nice dinner out I’d have to take them to either Wildflower or Locale. For drinks Borderlands Brewery, Motosonora Brewing, or Batch. Things to do we’d walk around downtown, go hiking at Sweetwater Preserve with my dog, Agua Caliente, or brewery hop downtown. If it’s fall we’d spend the day at Apple Annies. One of my favorite things I’ve done recently when a friend visited was explored the wineries in Elgin and Sonoita. My favorite was Los Milics, but there are so many you can go to while down there.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s so many people in my life who have helped foster my love for delicious home cooked meals and supporting local. One of my college friends Vicki who passed away at the beginning of 2020 was one of my biggest supporters before I even launched my blog, she never got to see it come to fruition, but I’ll never forget her kind and supportive words. I love and miss you Vicki.

Instagram: @hannahjeansplate

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=gBIc-oHZefce84ySGCowHg&utm_source=ishare

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